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Home arrow Economics arrow Commitment and cooperation on high courts : a cross-country examination of institutional constraints on judges


Judges do seem to care about other judges on the bench or panel hearing the appeal, whether to further their own policy goals or for other relationship reasons. On the other hand, there is at best mixed evidence that judges are influenced by their position on the bench (such as whether they are freshman or the chief) or by other branches of government. The high court data we have for the countries we are studying makes it difficult to tease out strong relationships, let alone causation. However, we have seen that at least some aspects of the design of the court—such as whether the court sits in panels and how these panels are chosen, or whether the chief justice can shield freshman judges from the immediate pressure of a high caseload—may alter the influence of these relationships. We will return to a form of relationship in Chapter 7 when we discuss whether judges are influenced by particular litigants such as interveners or the government. Before that, though, we turn to a discussion of how these litigants actually get before the high court.

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